Steelers trading up for Devin Bush looks even worse in hindsight

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up for linebacker Devin Bush in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they just declined his fifth-year option.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Michigan linebacker Devin Bush with the 10th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Steelers thought they had their linebacker of the future, and gave up significant draft capital to move up and take him.

But on Monday, three years after his selection, the Steelers declined to pick up the fifth-year option for Bush, meaning that he will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season. It certainly will have you thinking about the trade now that Pittsburgh could be moving on from Bush altogether after the upcoming season.

Steelers trading up for Devin Bush looks even worse in hindsight

To move up and select Bush, Pittsburgh surrendered their No. 20 pick, their 2019 second-rounder (No. 50) and a 2020 third-round pick to the Denver Broncos. Bill Barnwell points out just how much value the Steelers gave to the Broncos.

Bush’s NFL career got off to a solid start in his rookie year, as he recorded 109 combined tackles, four defended passes, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 16 games. He finished third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

The linebacker could not follow up on his rookie season due to the fact that he tore his ACL five games into his sophomore year in the NFL.

In 2021, Bush tallied 70 total tackles, four defended passes, two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery through 14 games.

Even though the Steelers did not pick up his fifth-year option, that does not mean his tenure in Pittsburgh is over. It is essentially a prove-it deal for Bush and if he impresses, the team can always bring him back.

But, the move does show that the Steelers were not comfortable committing $10.9 million to him for the 2023 season.

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